Niantic acquires NZXR

by Boaz Feldman

Niantic has set out to use emerging technology to further enrich our experiences as human beings in the physical world.
 It is a software development company based in San Francisco and is best known for developing AR mobile games Pokémon Go and Ingress. 
The company was cut out as Niantic Labs in 2010 as an internal startup within Google. But now, they are looking to expand their horizons.

The Acquisitions

First of all, Niantic bought 8th Wall, a WebAr development company with their tech in over 5 billion smartphones across iOS and Android as well as computers and AR/VR headsets.
Even before this, they also acquired in the past year three other tech startups- Scaniverse, Hoss, And Lowkey. And now, they've acquired NZXR, an AR Augmented Reality studio based in New Zealand, making this their fifth acquisition in a short period.

NZXR was formed during the pandemic after a group of guys were laid off from working on Magic Leap. Rather than going their separate ways, the team built their own business, taking on projects like the AR skateboarding game Skatrix and the interactive theater experience Destination Mars.
They also built several AR apps and prototypes for different devices and produced software for AR headsets from Qualcomm.

They said they had once worked with Niantic before accepting an offer of permanent partnership and becoming a full part of the company, but did not reveal the financial details of the acquisition to the public.

The Real World Metaverse

Niantic stated goal is to create AR experiences for everyone to enjoy. However, it also wants to continue to advance the technology that powers those experiences and third-party applications.

According to Niantic's blog post, NZXR will be "an integral part of the design and development of multiplayer real-world AR experiences unique to Niantic".
“We’re excited to welcome NZXR to Niantic and continue building the future of AR and the real-world Metaverse together,” said Niantic’s VP of Visual and Interaction Design, Dennis Hwang.

NZXR's team shared in a different blog post: "We've found our counterparts at Niantic to be welcoming and excited to collaborate, open to feedback, and quick to share knowledge. When Niantic approached us about a permanent partnership, it felt like a natural fit.”